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Updated outlook for the 2021 federal buying season

June 22, 2021

Updated outlook for the 2021 federal buying season
powered by Sounder

With only a short amount of time left before the Sept. 30 fiscal year end, there are still a lot of questions left to be answered for this federal buying season.
Shelby Skrhak talks with Eminence Griffin, Director at Dell Technologies, about:
  • Emerging priorities
  • Legislation to keep an eye on
  • President Joseph Biden’s budget for fiscal year 2022

Emerging priorities

In a December episode of B2B Tech Talk, Eminence made some federal buying season predictions that included:
  • A continued focus on connectivity and security for remote work and school from home
  • A push to modernize the supply chain
These are still priorities for the Biden administration, but there’s been one big change. Due to increasing security breaches, there’s an added emphasis on cybersecurity in purchases moving forward.

Legislation to keep an eye on

Two work-in-progress pieces of legislation are important to understand as far as federal buying is concerned.

U.S. Innovation & Competition Act

This bill consists of two main portions. The first focuses on policy and how the U.S. can become more competitive in emerging technologies through investment in R&D.
This initiative aims to operationalize advancements in AI, quantum computing and 5G so that federal agencies can use them to create efficiencies.
The second focuses on getting technology into communities that wouldn’t necessarily be thought of as tech hubs.
Due to a chip shortage, this bill also incentivizes microchip fabricators to manufacture in the United States.

American Jobs Plan Infrastructure Bill

You might not think that infrastructure has anything to do with technology. But the truth is that the infrastructure we know from 50 years ago has transformed into smart infrastructure that uses more technology than you might think.
Toll systems now use chips. Smart vehicles, and maybe someday self-driving cars, will continue the need for an increased fusion of tech and infrastructure.
And, of course, broadband is a big component of any infrastructure bill. In fact, one of the main areas where there’s bipartisan agreement is an increased investment in broadband, particularly in rural areas.

President Biden’s 2022 budget

“I think the main takeaway is increased investment in cyber,” says Eminence.
We’re also seeing an emphasis on modernization as the president has proposed another $500 million for the technology modernization fund. The fund allows agencies to borrow money to make technology updates as needed.
According to Eminence, so many of the websites and tools used by the federal government remain outdated.
“This program is really meant to make systems more secure and make the user experience better,” she says.
To learn more, listen to Eminence’s previous appearance on B2B Tech Talk, visit GovEvolve or contact Glenn Jeffries at  glenn.jeffries@ingrammicro.com